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Review: Curio - Escapologic, Nottingham

Room Story - from Escapologic

Be careful what you wish for. An Englishman's home is his castle. Or his curio if he's a treasure hunter who's spent a lifetime collecting trinkets from all four corners of the globe. Alexander Curio was a true eccentric. A legendary explorer who left no stone unturned in his search for gems and gimcracks. To him, life was a gamble, with fate to be decided on a whim or a flip of a coin. A mysterious loner who loved to raise the stakes until they could be raised no higher.

show more.... Alexander's life was one big puzzle. Only a select few ever got beyond his front door. You're about to join their exclusive ranks. At first glance, Curio looks like the home of an explorer whose passion for chasing treasures has taken him from the Thames to Timbuktu. But the clue lies in the name. Secrets lie within her seemingly innocent walls and trinkets hold the key to untold riches. Fortune favours the brave but riches come at a price.

Who is the man behind the enigma? Was his death the result of some cruel, cosmic irony? And does he really want to share the treasures hidden away within the labyrinth he calls home?

This is no ordinary home. Alexander is anything but an ordinary man. Now he's inviting you into his world. But once you enter, there's no going back.

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Key Stats

Room NameCurio
VenueEscapologic
LocationNottingham, UK
Date26/03/2017
Escape Time49:00
Team Size3
My Recommended Team Size3 - 4

Review

Whenever we’ve visited Escapologic, we’ve been frequently asked by the staff whether or not we’ve done Curio and they’ve told us tales about how difficult the room is. When we arrived on the day, every member of staff reminded us about the rooms difficulty and wished us luck with worried expressions on their faces. It’s fair to say, with such a build up, we weren’t feeling supremely confident.

Curio is in a separate building across the road, accessed via a garage door in the street. We headed through the door and received our briefing. The host gave us some vital information about the room which gave an initial hint about the unique nature of this game – there are no spoilers here though.

Upon entering the room, it’s a fairly small circular space decorated like a living room – but with lots of strange objects. It’s themed to a really high quality, everything looks and feels substantial. There’s an almost antique feel to the room. We started the room with an initial search and found some obvious puzzles to get us started. From that point forward, we entered a flow of puzzles that didn’t slow down from start to finish.

You don’t stay in the same room for the whole of the game, there are several different areas where you go and solve a puzzle, returning with a vital object to the main room. There’s a really clear physical part of the room that lets you see your progress through the came – this gave us a good indicator of how far we had progressed through the game.

Some of the puzzles require quite a bit of thought, linking together patterns and numbers to correspond with physical puzzles in different parts of the room. It’s really interesting gameplay that feels logical and flows so well.

There are some puzzles which really benefit from teamwork, one particular puzzle requires close observation of the room and members of the team in different parts of the room to help complete it. With two people you’d get by, but it’s certainly more efficient with three people like we had.

We only got stuck on one occassion and a very quick hint from the host got us on our way again quickly. Due to the number of puzzles in the room, if you got stuck for a long time or stuck multiple times on different puzzles, you’d have a difficult task escaping. It felt like there was a lot to do in a short space of time – which was great because it really kept up the pace and kept us on our toes.

After solving many puzzles, the final puzzle presented itself and with some physical force, we retrieved the final item and successfully escaped! Curio was such an exhilirating and entertaining experience, we couldn’t stop talking about it for weeks afterwards. I really highly recommend this game, it’s an absolute must do for beginners and enthusiasts alike. My only sadness is that we can’t experience the surprise and wonder of our first time in the room again.

Did I mention how much we loved this room?

The team were Becky, Daniel and Beth.

Ratings

Overall A very special room – it has a completely unique element, lots of puzzles and so much variety. This is my favourite room I’ve played and it will take something very special to beat it.
Difficulty The staff at Escapologic say this is their hardest game. The puzzles flow logically but if you get stuck at any point, you risk not escaping.
Fun It was so much fun – we were on such a high when we escaped.
Puzzles By the time the game has completed, you’ve interacted with almost every part of the room to complete all of the puzzles. All puzzles are cleverly woven into the room and flow at a very fast pace.
Immersion You get completely sucked in by the room. For an hour, you feel like you’re somewhere else entirely. The only reason it has lost half a star is because you could sometimes hear sounds from other rooms nearby.
Surprises This game is one big surprise and a whole series of surprises – it never stops surprising.

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